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Pack’s McCarthy expects injured WR Driver to play
DALLAS (AP) - Donald Driver waited 12 seasons to play in a Super Bowl, so Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy doesn’t see any way a quadriceps injury will keep the veteran wide receiver on the sideline.
“He would practice today if I would let him,” McCarthy said Friday. “He tweaked it in Wednesday’s practice, and frankly I just do not want to take any chances at this point. So I will hold Donald from practice again today. Donald’s played a lot of football, he knows the offense, he’s had a whole week of preparation with the plan last week, so this is clearly just being safe.”
McCarthy said the week has gone smoothly for his team, although several inches of snow falling in the Dallas area Thursday night into Friday morning could cause delays as players’ families try to get in for the game. McCarthy was a few minutes late for his news conference presumably because of the weather.
Given the fact that this is the first Super Bowl for most Packers players, McCarthy turned to Hollywood to drive home the point that a football game is a football game _ even when it’s played on a bigger stage.
McCarthy showed the team a scene from the movie “Hoosiers” where Gene Hackman’s character measures the dimensions of the court in an attempt to convince his small-town high school basketball team that playing in a large venue isn’t much different than playing in their own gym.
“Everybody loves the movie Hoosiers, where the basketball team walks into the arena and they measure the foul line and it’s 15 feet, and they measure the hoop and it’s 10 feet, and everybody goes ‘OK, it’s big in here,’” McCarthy said. “That’s our approach. We’re going to play football.”
McCarthy also has arranged for a guest speaker to address the team, but is keeping it a secret.
Despite their relative inexperience, McCarthy is happy with the way his players handled the week and says they’re ready to play.
One significant distraction was resolved yesterday, when Honolulu police told The Associated Press they located the father of Packers defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins in Hawaii and he was OK. Jenkins said this week that he was worried about his father because he hadn’t heard from him in more than a month.
“I think anytime you’re dealing with a personal situation in such a heightened week of importance professionally, it definitely drains on you,” McCarthy said. “I know Cullen is relieved and that’s more of a personal matter for him and his family. But definitely, there’s relief, the fact that there’s been communication.”
The Packers also will take care of a far more minor distraction Friday when they take their much-discussed team photo. Some of the Packers‘ injured players complained last week that they weren’t going to be included in the photo, and the team decided to schedule it later in the week so injured players could be present.
“There are a lot of steady personalities in our locker room,” McCarthy said. “We don’t have a lot of people bouncing off the walls when something goes wrong. I think that is a real credit to our people, to our players, and I think that is a big part of why we have been successful this year.”
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